i didnt notice any degree of innovation to be honest. it seems like the same old same old over and over...i dont know--i think too many are trying to mimic, replicate, recreate, or reconstitute the same old designs..the same old layouts.
I was not refreshed in the least. Actually a little disappointed...not becuase the entries werent beautiful aquariums, most were, but that the artistry seems to have evaporated away.
I look at aquascaping in 2 ways:
either I conjur up a layout, with definitive plans, knowing exactly what plants I will use, etc. etc....and sticking to the plan all the way--
I start with a blank canvas...and I paint with plants--taking it step by step, without steps...figuratively speeking. Not trying to force fit plants, but to allow the plants to fit themselves. Nature has no 'big plan'...$h1t just falls where it may fall. Work with it instead of against it ya know?
there is a serious lack of the latter in this years contest it seems...but thats just my opinion.
what about you scolley? where do you stand?